Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Edge ranger Al, has a predicament…. he has a new tenant farmer for one of his fields alongside the A458 but the farmer wants a stock proof fence to keep his sheep in.

The livestock is due to arrive on 1st May and we are only two weeks away with 160 meters of hedge to be cut back so the new fence can be erected by a contractor starting on 23rd April.

What can he do?… Answer: Call in SSNTV!

Its Easter Sunday…will anyone turn up? (The group have not been out on a bank holiday for a number of years – they do need some days off to build up their strength after all)

Well Al need not have worried, eleven members and one member’s visitor all the way from London met up at the designated lane.  Al dragged assistant Kate along as well.

In no time fire number one was burning away. So off to the other end of the field for fire number two.  Both were blazing by cake o’clock, as the old fence started to appear from under the hawthorn and among the brambles.

The sun blazed down, the heat of the fires and the sweat pouring out of everyone, mean frequent breaks for water had to be taken as the hedge shrank in size and the bonfires got bigger.

Cue reddened faces and relief, as by the end of the day the task was complete, old hedge was removed and the group left Al and Kate to take down the old barbed wire ready for the next phase of work to start on Tuesday morning.

Workday leader – Peter O

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Our EVENTS page has been updated with new dates for your diary.

If you have volunteered with us before…., then you know how to book onto the workdays.

If you’re interested to volunteer with us for the first time…., then please contact us for more info – just pop over to our CONTACTS PAGE and send us your details so our web fairy can put you in touch with us.

In the meantime, don’t forget that we are also on Facebook.

Just click the Facebook link in the sidebar to read recent workday reports and see more pictures (don’t worry, you don’t have to have a Facebook account to read the updates!).

Walcot Woods

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The Weir, Hereford, Saturday 22nd October

It has been a while since we visited The Weir, May 7th to be exact. It is a real pleasure to work at this location, particularly so this weekend as we had such lovely weather.

Our task was to cut back overgrown buddleia and rosemary willow. The idea was that we would uncover the old pig sty. We were wondering if this would be possible as we couldn’t see a pig sty – as you can see from the ‘after’ pic, the pig sty was there and we worked hard to reveal it from the undergrowth.

We enjoyed working with NT gardener Ned. He always has something interesting to show us in the garden. This time it was a fabulous selection of pumpkins and squash of all shapes and sizes and an oddly shaped vegetable – which turned out to be a south american cucumber of the Achocha family, known as the ‘Fat Baby’. Also growing there was a close relative of the Fat Baby – the exploding cucumber, Latin name Cyclanthera Explodens.

 

 

 

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Wenlock Edge, old quarry, Friday 7th to Sunday 9th October

Earlier in the year, a discussion took place with NT Ranger Chris – what would be better than a workday at Wenlock Edge? The answer? Three workdays at Wenlock Edge! And so the group found themselves booked in for a three day working weekend, working at a new part of the site. The location was an old limestone quarry which has long since ceased production. The National Trust recently took over management of the site. It had become overgrown with hawthorn and blackthorn hence badly in need of some volunteer action.

There is a variety of things that make the group happy: – good weather, chunky trees to chop, a bonfire, lots of cake. All of these were available in abundance!

Some of the group stayed overnight at an NT holiday cottage near Dudmaston. Ron tested his culinary skills on Friday evening, providing the group with a delicious spaghetti dish. Sheila helped out by creating an apple crumble, using apples provided by Ron from his own garden. This was washed down with a fine selection of ales, or a glass or two of homemade wine – “Rhubarb Ruin”. On the Saturday evening, the overnighters ventured into Bridgnorth for a meal in a local bistro – I am sure it wasn’t as good as Ron and Sheila’s tasty creations on Friday.

The photos don’t do justice to the extent of work completed over the weekend. We hope to be back working at this site sometime before Christmas so if you want to see it, keep an eye on our programme of workdays and come out and join us.

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Shugborough, Sunday 19th June

Dogwood. Lots of dogwood….needing to be cut back. How fortunate that we love that kind of job! Nine of us arrived at Shugborough Estate, bowsaws and loppers in hand, ready to work. With the usual group enthusiasm, we set to work. The task was to clear an area near to the boathouse. The boathouse was hidden from view as visitors came along the path – not so at the end of the day. As you can see from the photographs, the area was opened up revealing the little building beyond. As extra tasks, Himalayan Balsam was removed from around the pond and the area around the boatshed was weeded. I love this kind of workday – you can really see the immediate effect of your efforts.

p.s. the lovely view in the ‘after’ photo is spoiled a little by the pile of tree cuttings – these will be cleared by Shugborough staff in due course

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Attingham, Sunday 12th June

The group had a visit to Attingham, near Shrewsbury this past weekend. The official description of the task was “mucking out the cow sheds at Home Farm to get valuable garden manure”. As I sit at home drinking tea on Tuesday morning, I realise I haven’t heard from anyone who attended the workday…I am thinking maybe that they were enjoying the mucking out so much that they are still there…..HELLO MUCKERS….ARE YOU STILL OUT THERE????

STOP PRESS::: I hear that the task on Sunday was changed and the group spent the day mulching around the trees in the orchard (there was some horse muck involved!). Unfortunately, the weather was not favourable (i.e. the wrong sort of rain). A small but hardy group started the day…and a slightly wetter group ended the day. On the plus side, there was plenty of cake.

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Saturday/Sunday 28th/29th May

Continuing our succesful bank holiday outings, we find ourselves back at Dudmaston for some more rhoddie attack!

Day 1 – Saturday. Someone suggested having an early start today so we met at the earlier than usual time of 9am (John was so keen that he had been waiting at the car park with his bowsaw twitching at 8.15!). We were back to the same area of woodland as previously (see Easter Weekend), adjacent the ponds. It is pleasing to have to walk a little further each time, passing by the areas we have cleared on other workdays. Ron soon got the fire started and we worked throughout the morning, progressively clearing rhoddies from along the poolside. Given the early start, lunch seemed well deserved. With the exception of one rain shower, the weather was fine and allowed us to clear a larger than anticipated area.

(more…)

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